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Microsoft showcasing approach for Gaming, Exercising, Modeling, and Simulation (GEMS) at I/ITSEC

Join Microsoft and our partners at Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC), the world’s largest modeling, simulation, and training event. I/ITSEC promotes international and interdisciplinary cooperation within the fields of modeling and simulation (M&S), training, education, analysis, and related disciplines. I/ITSEC emphasizes themes related to defense and security, and this solution area is a focus of Microsoft for Defense and Intelligence teams around the world.

Using GEMS to enhance defense and intelligence capabilities

In 2021, the United States Defense Science Board released a report outlining the six key interdisciplinary areas that transcend the traditional Department of Defense (DoD) organizational silos:

  • Wargaming
  • Experimentation
  • Campaign modeling and analysis
  • Simulation technology enablers, like engines and data formats
  • Immersive training
  • Digital engineering platforms

These interdisciplinary areas resonate at the intersection of Gaming, Exercising, Modeling, and Simulation (GEMS); so much so, that Microsoft created new teams solely focused on GEMS, bringing the best of Microsoft to the forefront of this new wave of digitally enabled capabilities.

Microsoft for Startups supports and enables GEMS innovation

The Microsoft for Startups program, including the new Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub, an innovative platform offering support for all startups at every stage of their journey, from ideation to exit, helps GEMS developers achieve more with our platform. We want to unleash an entire ecosystem of developers and start-ups, including those focused on how gaming technologies like hyperscale cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, machine learning, augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR), and many others, constructively converge to build a GEMS foundation that will deliver enhanced capabilities for solving some of the most difficult problems for defense and intelligence organizations.


One such start-up, VRAI, will be co-exhibiting with Microsoft for Defense and Intelligence at the I/ITSEC conference, bringing their data driven VR simulation solutions to our customers. VRAI started working with Microsoft via the Microsoft for Startups program, giving them initial, critical access to the technology and support they needed to turn a product vision into a real and disruptive solution. Since then, VRAI has built their HEAT simulation data platform on Microsoft Azure. VRAI is now part of the Microsoft co-sell program and plans to develop an offering for the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

VRAI: 2022 Military Simulation & Training Award winner

3 soldiers sitting at desks with VR goggles on immersed in training simulations developed by VRAI

On November 21, 2022, VRAI was announced the recipient of the prestigious Military Simulation & Training Award for Outstanding XR Application by a small company in 2022 in the MS&T Magazines I/ITSEC edition. The award is for VRAI’s ReACT VR Armour Crew Sim, which increases training opportunities for armor crews using immersive VR environments to replace the need for real world platforms. It leverages cutting edge data exploitation to provide personalized learning insights for trainees and instructors while decreasing the carbon footprint of training. The solution combines virtual reality technology with data capture, analysis, AI, and machine learning in order to measure, evaluate, and predict human performance to improve training outcomes.

VRAI co-founder and former Armored Unit Commander, Pat O’Connor, commented on the collaboration with Microsoft saying: “We built our ReACT VR Armour Crew Sim from the ground up, knowing it solves a critical training problem for military end users. We employed top tech talent and military veterans to work with front line military end users to design and build this product. Collaborating with Microsoft gives us the opportunity to get the solution into more of our customers hands, more quickly, solving our customers’ problems and helping to better prepare troops for service, which is a very fulfilling mission for us.”  

Additionally, Microsoft recently highlighted VRAI as one of various partner solutions at a technology showcase for the United States Army Program Executive Office—Ground Combat Systems (PEO GCS). We supported one of their major programs at our Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, WA, coordinating the activity within their annual “Light Armored Vehicle User Nations Group” Conference, which included uniformed and civilian personnel from across seven nations.

Meet the Microsoft and VRAI teams at I/ITSEC

The Microsoft Defense and Intelligence team is thrilled to be participating at I/ITSEC with our partners. We’re eager to meet with you to discuss our point of view on GEMS and demonstrate a few of the innovative technologies that can be a positive force for digital transformation. Stop by and visit with Microsoft and our partners booth, #1969, and meet with the team.

CISO (chief information security officer) collaborating with a practitioner in a security operations center.

Microsoft for Defense and Intelligence

Empowering militaries. Improving operations. Protecting national security.